When the popular video-sharing app Vine was discontinued in 2016, it left a gap in the market that TikTok has enthusiastically and profitably filled. With its rapid rise to popularity, young user base, and informal vibe, advertisers have been eager to take advantage of the new marketing opportunity that TikTok presents.
While TikTok is still developing its offering to marketers and brands, it is precisely this dynamic, personal tone that lends TikTok the trustworthy quality that so many other social media platforms lack. Now, with TikTok’s recent investment in augmented reality (AR) ads, brands looking to make the most out of experience marketing can’t afford to overlook this platform.
Keep on reading to learn more about TikTok ad options available to businesses today and TikTok AR examples that show how brands are utilising this new technology to promote their brands.
TikTok for Business Ad Options
1. Brand Takeover
Brand Takeover ads are ads that pop up on a user’s feed in the form of a full-screen video immediately after a user opens the TikTok app.
One of the unique characteristics of TikTok (and one that contributes to its notoriously addictive quality) is that videos begin to play as soon as the app is open. To get to the navigation page — where you can click on specific videos or hashtags you’re interested in — users have to toggle away from the running video feed. An ad popping up on this feed right away is desirable because it’s guaranteed to be viewed by users. Brand Takeover ads can also include links that bring users to a Branded Hashtag Challenge or an external landing page.
Brand Takeover ads are three to five seconds long. Users can only see a Brand Takeover ad from one advertiser in a day, which makes these ads exclusive and costly to run.
2. TopView ads
TopView ads are somewhat similar to brand takeovers: they also appear as soon as the TikTok app is opened and can include links to both internal and external pages. However, TopView ads can run up to 60 seconds. This means that brands can easily style TopView ads to resemble any other TikTok video, especially if they decide to partner with a popular TikToker to promote their brand.
3. In-Feed Ads
In-Feed Ads can show up at any point when a user scrolls through the For You section on TikTok’s homepage.
The ad itself can be up to 15 seconds long, but a user may swipe away at any point. One advantage of In-Feed Ads is that they can include multiple CTAs. Additionally, with In-Feed Ads, users can interact with the video by liking it, commenting, and sharing it with others.
4. Branded Hashtag Challenge
Hashtag trends and challenges that appear on TikTok’s Discover page are among the most popular aspects of TikTok, and one of the main reasons creatives have been drawn to the platform.
Branded Hashtag Challenges are a fun way for users to interact with brands. They allow viewers to connect with a brand in a way that feels authentic in a social media landscape that’s become increasingly curated.
Brands that integrate themselves into the TikTok community by generating entertaining hashtag trends can expand their reach and increase brand awareness.
5. Branded Effects
One of the easiest ways to start advertising on TikTok is with customisable branded “effects,” which include shareable stickers, AR filters, and lenses designed by a brand.
TikTok creators can then use or attach these effects to their own videos. Branded effects can be available for up to 10 days. There is no shortage of TikTok AR examples to inspire you when it comes to branded effects.
Successful TikTok AR Examples You’ll Want to Replicate
Whatever option you decide to pursue, it’s a good idea to incorporate AR into your TikTok ad. Due to the interactive nature of the platform, TikTok users are well accustomed to playing with AR effects.
Here are some TikTok AR examples that show how brands from different industries have been using AR on TikTok to improve their profitability in unique and creative ways:
One of our favourite TikTok AR examples is this effect from The Physical Education Teacher to encourage fitness and show that physical education does not necessarily require equipment.
Poplar Studio worked with The Physical Education Teacher to create an AR effect that turns a pushup challenge into a game. As part of the game, users assume the pushup position and raise or lower their body according to a moving “maze,” seeing how long they can sustain stability.
The beauty industry has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to incorporating AR into their advertising campaigns. Accordingly, there are plenty of TikTok AR examples from the beauty industry.
We recently partnered with L’Oréal Paris to create an AR campaign to promote their Colorista Permanent Gel hair colour. Users could interact with the effect to see their hair colour instantly change to a flattering rose gold offered by the Colorista line, and create a video modelling the new colour. A Hashtag Challenge was also associated with this filter, and creators using the L’Oréal Paris effect could tag their videos with the #GoBoldColorista hashtag. To date, the campaign has received 2.8 billion views.
Poplar Studio also designed an ad experience for Maybelline’s #LiftMyMood Hashtag Challenge, where users could virtually try on Maybelline’s “Lifter” gloss by pouting at the camera. Videos promoting the challenge feature TikTok users beginning their day in a gloomy mood, only to receive an instant “lift” upon applying the gloss. This popular campaign has seen 2.9 billion views since it was launched.
Netflix Germany also made use of TikTok’s AR features and Hashtag Challenges, designing a virtual karaoke to promote the German singing show Sing On. Users that took part in this campaign used the branded effect while singing, which created the impression that they were in a karaoke booth. The campaign received more than 600 million video views and raised explosive awareness of the new show in just 10 days.
We could not leave out this AR effect created by the over-the-counter cough medicine brand Mucinex from our list of TikTok AR examples.
In an unexpected and unconventional (yet very successful) campaign, Mucinex designed a dance and hashtag challenge called #BeatTheZombieFunk. TikTok users were challenged to replicate the brand’s zombie dance or create their own moves, dancing beside an AR “Mr Mucus,” the brand’s well-known mascot. The campaign resulted in almost 6 billion views, over 500,000 user-generated videos, and a 60.4% lift in ad recall.
Getting Started with TikTok AR Ads
TikTok has become such a popular and well-known format that brands are now bringing their TikTok ads to other platforms. The clothing retailer Old Navy has transferred multiple TikTok ads to television, and the brand Habit Skin uses their TikTok ads on Instagram. The fact that these brands are deliberately emphasising their activity on TikTok indicates how essential it has become for brands to have a presence on the app.
TikTok currently accepts AR filters only from brands working with partners such as Poplar Studio. To successfully create your desired AR effect and get it up and running on TikTok, we recommend that you get in touch with us today.